When I was a teenager I had difficulty following my mother’s instructions. I thought her ways old-fashioned and I knew better, cooler ways of doing things. There was a stubborn streak in me then and the bad news is it’s still there today. Can anyone else relate?
I noticed a number of years ago I looked upon a task based on who asked me to do it. If the idea came from me, then it was alright. If someone else told or asked me, it was not. I wondered how could this be if it is the same task (eg cleaning the floor). I decided the problem was in my will.
In these days of political correctness we are supposed to just make suggestions. We aren’t to tell other people what they should do. This, it seems, can be carried to extremes. If someone is heading off a bridge, it would not make sense to say “I suggest you change directions.” We’d better be telling them “you’re heading for disaster. Turn around.” Again the problem is not in what is being asked, the problem is in the will.
In the Gospel lesson I read for today, there is this interesting question posed by Our Lord.
“What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ He answered, ‘I will not’; but later he changed his mind and went. The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir’; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” (Matthew 21:28-31 NRSV)
Now when the Eternal Father (or Parent) tells us to do something, the same unwillingness can boil over inside because it isn’t our idea. Yet, this same Father (Parent) sits in eternity, has all wisdom, is merciful and gracious, and knows what is best for each of us individually. Why would anyone resist His call?
I wonder how many people will say “no” to the Father’s call for service today? I wonder how many will say “yes” and then move into action? Will I be in the latter or the former group?